In the 4th of his series to the LPN business networking strategist Andy Lopata shares his tips for breaking down the barriers to successful business networking.
If you say that you’re going to do something, do it. Networks are built on reputations and people judge you in the long term not by your promises but by you living up to those promises.
That also means communicating when things don’t go as planned. If you are open and honest and give feedback in good time, then people will be far more comfortable working with and referring you. Be bold and ask for feedback so that you can confirm that you are meeting people’s expectations.
If you surround yourself only with people of the same age, with the same experience and sharing the same interests as you, you will be limiting the potential benefits you can derive from that network.
Build bridges with people who can bring different expertise, ideas and contacts to the table. You’ll find creative solutions to challenges you have become stuck on and realise that the people you need to meet are closer than you ever thought possible.
D is also for…
Remember that dialogue is two way, the old cliché about you having two ears and one mouth and using them in that proportion is good advice to follow.
Social networks have grown into a phenomenon in the last decade. Interacting online is now a fundamental part of the network process and something everyone should embrace.
Be alert to the way your needs are changing, the needs of your network are changing and the way people network is changing. Respond accordingly.
Decide why you are networking and have a clear direction. You don’t need to carry that into every conversation but a clear purpose will enable you to recognise and grasp the right opportunities.
Networking is all about finding friends, building trust and developing relationships. So put business to one side when you first meet and disarm people with your smile, your charm and your interest in them.
Dedication and Determination
Networking is a long-term activity. It takes time to develop the relationships and trust necessary for people to really want to help you. You need to know your course and then stick to it despite short-term setbacks.
Avoid jumping to preconceptions, whether based on appearance, job title, age or anything else. Get to know someone before writing them off!
View the series:
Check out Andy’s blog by simply clicking here
Follow Andy on twitter @AndyLopata